Carrying large quantities of food aboard spacecraft might not be feasible and the environment on these space rocks is likely to be hostile to agriculture. French- American company Interstellar Lab may have found the right answer in their BioPods, the most advanced greenhouses ever built.
Founded in 2018, Interstellar Lab is the brainchild of venture capital expert Barbara Belvisi and was incubated at the NASA Ames Space Portal. The company uses aeroponics - an advancement over hydroponics - and uses mist as a soil replacement to grow plants. Interstellar Lab has developed atmospheric control technology capable of maintaining precise climate conditions, irrespective of the conditions outside the BioPod. The company claims to have standardized growing conditions for over 300 plants that are not just food crops but also plants that can deliver pharmaceutical and cosmetic compounds.
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered controlled center can manage the BioPod independently, even selecting crops and scheduling them. An integrated water treatment system saves up to 98 percent water while the aeroponics boosts yield by 300 times while using 1/20th energy.
Interstellar Lab uses inflatable membrane technology to aid the rapid deployment of these BioPods.
In his 1989 novel Tides of Light, science fiction author Gregory Benford describes lifezones, easy to move and set up for use as hydroponic greenhouses:
He puffed heavily as he angled around the bulbous lifezones - huge bubbles extruded from the sleek lines of the Argo, like immense, bruised bodies of parasites. Inside, their opalescent walls ran with dewdrops, shimmering moist jewels hanging a bare finger's width away from hard vacuum. Green fronds pressed here and there against the stretched walls...